SMS spammers to face service suspension: Report

Published: May 3, 2012

Any user sending one message to over 200 users in less than 15 minutes will face service suspension.

Cellular mobile operators will now suspend services of mobile users who have been sending spam SMS messages for commercial purposes, ProPakistani has reported.

Sources at Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) confirmed the development and said that any mobile user who is sending an identical text message to over 200 users in less than 15 minutes will face suspension, the report said.

It added that the criteria of 200 messages in less than 15 minutes can also target non-commercial but heavy SMS users. Blank messages will also be considered spam, as sending blank messages to single of multiple users may lead to suspension as well.

The mobile operators claimed that they already have a mechanism to identify spam text messages and added that the suspension cannot be undone by operators unless PTA is contacted.

The suspension notification sent to spammers will read as follows:

“Dear customer your outgoing facility is being suspended due to spamming. For further query, please approach our helpline services”

With the tremendous growth in the mobile sector in Pakistan, SMS mobile marketing – generating spam commercial messages at extremely cost-effective rates – has grown extensively as well.

Last year in August, PTA warned marketers to desist sending unconsented, unwanted, fraudulent, misleading, spam and/or illegal SMS messages and calls to mobile phone consumers or face legal action.

PTA also announced the procedure of reporting spam messages/calls by sending a text message.

How to report spam/unwanted SMS/calls

If you receive any spam message or call that you did not subscribe to, or any call/SMS that you do not wish to receive again, SMS the sender’s cell number, your cell number and any other details you may want to add to ‘9000’.

Note: Charges for sending an SMS to 9000 are 10 paisas (including tax).

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Reader Comments (13)

  • May 3, 2012 - 4:46PM

    Good step, i sick of getting messages of tank clean service, rent a car, AC repair

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  • itp
    May 3, 2012 - 5:11PM

    How about curtailing spam messages sent daily by the telcos themselves. I receive about 5 daily and its a pain

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  • Hassan
    May 3, 2012 - 5:19PM

    @Pakistan politics
    Exactly! Ever since the SMS packages have come out, the spammers have made life difficult :/
    However, I’m afraid this might also affect someone with extensive friends’ circle, or even senders of religious messages (Hadiths, quotes etc)…Recommend

  • Bilal
    May 3, 2012 - 5:32PM

    I think the Telcos should stop all sms packages. It adds absolutely no value to the country, our youth, thanks to these packages are sms-ing 24×7, and 90% of the time it is useless talk. Jokes, Love Quotes, etc are the most passed on topics. Instead, our people need to make better use of their time by reading books, articles, and other intellectual stuff. I was in Pakistan last month for a week and was surprised to see people with no credit in their phones, messaging people all day-wasting their lives away! This is not what I expect from our young generation.
    P.S- I’m not 40 or 50, I’m just 25…if I can realize this, I hope everyone else can too.

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  • May 3, 2012 - 6:04PM

    The telcos are the biggest spammers of them all. I opted out of receiving promotional messages with Zong but they still send me at least one message a day. Until and unless SMS spamming is made illegal and the law enforced I don’t see the volume of messages going down.

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  • Pakistani
    May 3, 2012 - 6:59PM

    Great. Than UFONE will be suspended ?? They have been sending SPAM for so long that I don’t even remember. heh

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  • Villageboy
    May 3, 2012 - 7:44PM

    How about blocking my college’s number. It sends a lot of messages.

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  • May 3, 2012 - 7:49PM

    Suspension? This is a really stupid idea, they will simply move on to another number. What is needed is the spammers to be fined and sent to prison where they belong!

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  • HRK
    May 3, 2012 - 9:46PM

    @Villageboy: Lol good one! Those messages are probably called “result”, “need parental attention”, “suspension”, “detention”, etc…most of us go through that phase in life ;)

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  • May 3, 2012 - 11:39PM

    They are actually angry on zardari funny messages. Second to stop PTI to use sms service because PTI uses this service a lot to attract people to their jalsas.

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  • Tanzeel
    May 4, 2012 - 2:01PM

    Hopefully this will put an end to the scum at Hizb ut Tahrir bothering people with their filth.Recommend

  • Waseem
    May 5, 2012 - 1:17AM

    I just tried it, and guess what I received from Ufone “Invalid command blah blah blah”

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  • Jojo
    May 15, 2012 - 10:27AM

    Why do we have to type in our own number? Cant the software detect the number from where it came ?

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